Bosnians block state institutions in Sarajevo again on July 1 as authorities fail to adopt ID law

By bne IntelliNews July 1, 2013

Hundreds of Bosnians started gathering in front of the state-level parliament building on Monday, July 1, as politicians failed to meet the June 30 deadline to adopt a law on the ID registrations in the country, daily Nezavisne Novine reported.

The citizens gave the June 30 deadline to the politicians last month when they first held such demonstrations after the transportation of a six-month old baby girl for a life-saving treatment to Germany was delayed because she did not have an ID number.

Newborns in Bosnia have not been issued ID numbers since February when a Bosnian court decision froze the registrations and politicians from the main Serb, Croat and Muslim parties have failed since then to agree on a solution and unfreeze the registrations.

The capital Sarajevo was completely blocked on June 11 as protestors also demanded setting up a special fund for child treatment abroad and reducing the MPs’ earnings by 30% to allocate the freed money to finance the fund.

Since none of their demands were met and neither was there any sign from the politicians they began to work on them, protestors blocked the traffic in front of the parliament at noon on July 1. More and more people are arriving to the protests during the afternoon and many other are expected to join them later on once they leave work.

People from all parts of the country are expected to come to Sarajevo – Zenica, Mostar, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Tuzla, Lukavac, Bihac, among others, and even from Croatia’s Zagreb.

A group of activists united behind the name “JMBG za sve” (ID number for all) even called on the citizens not to buy anything and not to spend any money so that the state budget remains empty.

One of the organizers of the protests, Fedja Stukan, told the journalists on Monday that in order to show the politicians how the citizens feel, the citizens should deprive them of their (the politicians’) dearest – the money, via non-paying the taxes, bills and other liabilities.

Many of the protestors carry posters with caricatures of the politicians’ faces, naming them thieves and killers of babies, children, citizens, morale and of Bosnia. On some placards politicians are displayed as vampires.

Al Jazeera Balkans reports that Amnesty International published a report last month, saying the non-adoption of the ID registrations law in Bosnia is against the fundamental human rights. The report mentioned the names of two babies – Belmina Ibrisevic, whose case incited the protests, and Berina Hamidovic.

Three-month old Berina died on June 13 in a hospital in Belgrade where she was on a treatment. Berina first had an unsuccessful operation in Sarajevo and was sent for an urgent intervention to Belgrade – but because she did not have an ID and a passport, her trip to Belgrade was delayed. Many see this delay as crucial for the baby’s fate and blame the Bosnian political elite for her premature death.

Belmina, on the other hand, had a successful operation in Germany and as one of the organisers of the protest in Sarajevo said on July 1, it is a success for all the citizens - “we saved one life”. Belmina Ibrisevic was issued a passport on the second day of the June protests and was transferred for the life-saving treatment to Germany on the seventh day.

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